After getting his hands on the versatile Knipex ErgoStrip stripping tool, Steve Hewish gives us the lowdown on whether it’s a worthy addition to your toolbox.
The Knipex ErgoStrip is a versatile tool designed to be used by a number of different professionals across numerous fields. This includes electricians, plumbers, data installers, fire alarm installers and just about anyone who has the need to strip round cables such as FP, Flex and even Flexi Tails.
I’ll start by saying that this tool is a welcome change to other, less reliable versions that I’ve come across on the market. It’s a nicely built unit that offers minimal changing between tools when making off cables, with a built-in stripping tool to strip the outer sheath from all round cables. You’re then able to strip off the inner cores, ready to terminate, using the other built-in stripping points that are staggered for different sized cables.
In theory, you’ll then only need to use another tool if you’re crimping the end of the cable or you have to use a specific insertion tool to terminate. In this modern age where a lot of accessories now incorporate maintenance-free terminals, there will be many cases where the Knipex Ergostrip is the only tool you’ll need.
The tool’s pistol grip design fits into your hand comfortably, allowing the user to fit it into a back box easily and twist it with minimal effort, meaning you can strip the cable back far enough for a really neat result. Once you’ve notched the outer sheath you can then either pull the stripped sheath off or you can run the cutting blade (that’s built into the handle) down the length of the cable to peel it away.
It’s such an easy product to use and makes a uniform cut into cables. For instance, in a control panel, you can strip back all the cables to the same length without having to pre-mark them, pull them out of the box, strip them, and then put them back in. This can result in a big time saving on some jobs.
I found that the Ergostrip was particuarly useful on LED lighting upgrades and when replacing a fire alarm system (to remake the FP cabling without cutting into the inner cores of the cables).
I know that tools like this can be a bit like Marmite to those who may be set in their ways using cutters or knives to strip cables, but having had some extensive use of the product over the last few months, it’s safe to say that I’m a big fan and would recommend that you take a look.
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